Launching an Ecofair

Submitted by St. John’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis.

We held an Ecofair around Earth Day, which brought together several different desires, needs, and talents: we wanted to find a way to connect with our neighborhood, our youth had climate change as a part of their formation program for the year, and I was full of fresh information on climate and environmental topics. By the time we really decided to go forward with the Ecofair, it was late in February, so the planning was fast and furious. The planning team included Doug Mensing, Allen Gooch, Lois Neve, and me. 

The fair went great! We had the parish hall filled with 18 tables on a variety of topics and people came! For a while the room was packed. People were happy to see outside people come in. I believe people thought it would only be St. John’s people presenting. We did have some St. John’s people talking about personal experiences with such things as solar or geothermal, but we also had people from Hennepin County recycling, some re-use groups, MN Water Stewards, a horticulturist, master gardeners, the Linden Hills Neighborhood Association, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, the Citizens Climate Lobby, and more. Actually, we barely fit into the space we had. It was probably good that the planning time was so short as we wouldn’t have been able to fit in any more groups.

I’m already hearing people start sentences with, “Next year we should . . .” Continuous improvement is something I heard a lot in my career at Emerson Automation Solutions and it does work. It is important to evaluate, trim some parts, and add something better. So, next year should be something to look forward to, but perhaps on a little bit warmer day as we may have to spill over to the outside.

I don’t consider myself a spiritual person, but I do believe we have a responsibility to take care of things. It might be your children, your neighbors, refugees, or this fragile earth, our home. I was happy to see people learning simple new ways they can help the earth. It’s not hard, it just takes a little bit of thought, a little bit of change, and a commitment to make things better.

— Ms. Sarah Parker

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